DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — Thousands of students in Baltimore County found out on Friday their much-anticipated prom festivities were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, parents and students alike are trying to figure out how they can still commemorate an event many have been looking forward to for years.

Dundalk High School senior Victoria Unger already had her prom dress picked out. The pink, sparkly gown covered in lace and sequins now sits unworn.

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Dundalk High School senior Victoria Unger shows off the dress she planned to wear to her school’s prom until the event was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dundalk was one of 25 high schools in Baltimore County that have canceled proms amid the ongoing public health crisis. It was a difficult and disappointing decision, Superintendent Darryl Williams said, but one that had to be made.

“I share your disappointment about losing these special events, but we must abide by these executive orders by our governor,” Williams said in a phone message sent to families.

When the Ungers got that message, they were shocked.

“She worked to get where she’s at and instead of postponing, they just canceled?” her mother Ann said.

“I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t any discussion or debate about possible alternatives,” her father Michael said.

It’s not just Victoria who’s trying to come to terms with the decision.

Epiphany Green, a senior at George Washington Carver High School in Towson, had been looking forward to the event.

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“I was looking forward to dressing up and spending the night with my friends and having it be one of the highlights of my senior year,” she said.

Green’s parents are taking advantage of an offer from Earl’s Limo Service for a photoshoot in lieu of the prom to give her something special to celebrate.

“(We’re) offering about four to five limousines spread out so the kids can take their choice (of) the various limousines that are offered,” said Charles McCoy, a driver with Earl’s.

While it’s not the same, McCoy said the photo opportunity may be just as memorable.

“They can look back and say, ‘I survived the coronavirus epidemic and these are some of the pictures and memories I had,'” he said.

The Ungers, meanwhile, said they’ll keep fighting for those memories so their daughter can wear her pink dress at prom.

“I just want her to experience a magical evening,” Ann said. “This is what she wanted as well, I wanted her to have that so badly.”

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Annie Rose Ramos